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Watch for Another Wild Year in Cody Yellowstone: Notable Milestones in 2023

CODY, Wyo., November 3, 2022 – From the challenges of Covid in 2020 and 2021 to the spring floods in Yellowstone National Park in 2022, it’s been a wild few years in northwestern

Watch for Another Wild Year in Cody Yellowstone: Notable Milestones in 2023 3

The Cody Nite Rodeo.

Wyoming’s Cody Yellowstone. This beloved northern Wyoming destination is resilient, however, and its leaders are looking forward to a bright new season in 2023.

And no matter what that bright new season brings, it will certainly be wild.

“If there’s ever been a destination that is up to a little ‘wild,’ it’s Cody Yellowstone,” said Ryan Hauck, executive director of Cody Yellowstone, the marketing arm for the destination that includes the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as about half of Yellowstone National Park. “Wild is in our DNA, and we expect the unexpected here.”

Illustrating that sentiment, Cody Yellowstone recently launched a new marketing campaign called #WildWatch. Designed to support the

destination’s ongoing recovery efforts, the campaign taps into connections to the wild outdoors and Wild West roots.

Watch for Another Wild Year in Cody Yellowstone: Notable Milestones in 2023 4

Annie Oakley.

Hauck noted that Buffalo Bill Cody probably didn’t expect to establish an elaborate traveling show that he would stage around the world, and he probably didn’t expect to become the most famous man in the world and hunt with the Prince of Monaco. But that’s just part of the town founder’s storied life.

“The unexpected is an overarching theme around here,” said Hauck. “And I believe that the unexpected is precisely what makes Cody Yellowstone such an authentic destination.”

These are some of the notable events, places and watershed historic moments that are marking important anniversaries this year:


  • 140th anniversary of the first  Wild West Show. Buffalo Bill Cody staged the first Wild West Show in Omaha, Neb. on May 19, 1883. With a proven knack for production and promotion, Cody persuaded top talents such as Annie Oakley to perform, and the show prospered. With tours around the world, Buffalo Bill Cody became the most famous man in the world. That fame was essential to the success of his most enduring initiative – founding the town of Cody in 1896.
  • 85th anniversary of the Cody Nite Rodeo. Known as the Rodeo Capital of the World, Cody has treated visitors to the nightly summer-season spectacle of world-class rodeo since 1938. Cody Nite Rodeo is where top rodeo performers demonstrate their skills in horsemanship and roping events like tie-down roping, barrel racing and steer-wrestling. Many events were inspired by the real-life skills Western ranching families needed to thrive in the rugged Wyoming frontier.
  • 110th anniversary of Buffalo Bill Cody’s Hunt with the Prince of Monaco. While touring the world with his Wild West Show, Buffalo Bill Cody formed lasting friendships with some of the world’s most famous people. One of them was the Prince Albert of Monaco, who joined Cody for a “Royal Hunt” near Pahaska Tepee – Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge – in 1913.
  • 10th anniversary of Park County Nordic Ski Association “Taste of Trails” event. Scheduled for January 28, this popular event celebrates the region’s array of Nordic trails with a 5k course staged with samplings of local food and drink along the way. The non-competitive, family-friendly event raises funds to help the Park County Nordic Ski Association maintain trails throughout the winter.
  • 15th anniversary of the Meeteetse Ice Fishing Derby. This popular event brings together ice fishing enthusiasts to compete for prizes while fishing for Yellowstone cutthroat, Rainbow trout, Brown trout and Lake trout at the Sunshine Reservoir outside of town. The event is scheduled for Feb. 3-5, 2023.
  • 35th anniversary of fires that impacted one-third of Yellowstone National Park along with large swaths of forest surrounding park borders. The fires – which burned perilously close to some park structures – were fought by more than 25,000 people, and more than $120 million was spent on the efforts. Rain and snow finally stopped the advance of fires. The Greater Yellowstone fires of 1988 led to permanent changes in firefighting management, and it helped significantly increase the public’s understanding of fire ecology.


  • 120th anniversary of the dedication of the Roosevelt Arch. President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the partially constructed arch during a 1903 ceremony. Designed by Robert Reamer, who also designed park buildings such as the Old Faithful Inn, the 50-foot arch had enough room for horse-drawn coaches to pass through. The inscription on the arch reads, “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.”
  • 30th anniversary of the Buffalo Bill Dam Visitor Center. The Buffalo Bill Dam was the world’s tallest concrete dam when it was completed in 1910, and the visitor center, built in 1993, celebrates this architectural and historic marvel.
  • 140th anniversary of the opening of the National Hotel – now called Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel – in Yellowstone National Park. Situated near the northern entrance to the park, the National Hotel opened for business in August 1883, and it quickly became the popular first stop for visitors arriving via the Northern Pacific Railroad. All but one wing of the hotel was demolished in 1936 and replaced by a lodge with a large lobby and portico and a separate building for a restaurant. That original wing is part of Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel today.
  • 145th anniversary of the Pitchfork Ranch in Meeteetse, a small town 31 miles southeast of Cody. The oldest ranch in the Bighorn Basin, Pitchfork Ranch was established in 1878 by Otto Frank Von Lichtenstein, who recognized that the location in the valley of the Greybull River was prime cattle-raising country. The ranch grew to 250,000 acres and became known for its high quality cattle and sheep. The ranch enjoyed an extended worldwide spotlight when talented photographer and conservationist Charles Beldon began documenting life on the ranch. His compelling black-and-white photos can be viewed today in Meeteetse Museums. Currently owned by the Baker family, Pitchfork Ranch continues to produce ethically raised, high quality beef.
  • 120th anniversary of the Wapiti Ranger Station. The first forest ranger station in the first U.S. National Forest – Shoshone National Forest – the Wapiti Ranger Station was built in 1903.  The single-story log structure is located 30 miles west of downtown Cody. The station has been continuously operated, and it has undergone modern improvements throughout its history. The station was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. For more information, visit Wapiti Ranger Station National Historic Landmark (
  • 120th anniversary of the opening of the road from Cody to the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Now called the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway, the storied road from Cody to Yellowstone was built by the U.S. Forest Service and opened in 1903. A road from the entrance into the park over Sylvan Pass opened two years later. Although private vehicles were not allowed into the park until 1915, ambitious guides and outfitters organized tours for up to 12 passengers in coaches pulled by six-horse teams.
  • Opening of the Chamberlin Hotel. Now called the Chamberlin Inn, the Chamberlin Hotel was first opened in 1903 as a boarding house by Agnes Chamberlin, who worked for
    Watch for Another Wild Year in Cody Yellowstone: Notable Milestones in 2023 1

    The Chamberlin Inn.

    Buffalo Bill Cody on the growing Cody Enterprise newspaper. While Agnes operated the boarding house, her husband operated a dental clinic in one of the rooms, despite not having a license to practice dentistry or any formal training. Agnes gradually expanded and improved the hotel, and it eventually became known as the most prestigious place to stay in Cody. The hotel has hosted numerous prominent guests, including Ernest Hemingway. Still in operation today, the Chamberlin Inn is a boutique hotel with luxurious, one-of-a-kind rooms and a welcoming conservatory, a popular gathering place among locals and visitors alike.

  • 85th anniversary of the Mammoth Post Office. Established in 1938, the park’s elaborate main post office was built in the French Renaissance Moderne style using stone from a nearby quarry. Still in operation today, the building was one of more than one thousand post offices built in the 1930s, many of them similarly and intentionally ornamental.
  • 140th anniversary of the construction of the Hole in the Wall Cabin. The hideout of outlaw Butch Cassidy and his
    Watch for Another Wild Year in Cody Yellowstone: Notable Milestones in 2023 2

    The Hole in the Wall cabin at Old Trail Town.

    Wild Bunch, the two-room Hole in the Wall cabin is one of 26 frontier buildings on display at Cody’s Old Trail Town and Museum of the West.

  • 145th anniversary of River’s Saloon. Also on display at Old Trail Town, the River’s Saloon was originally situated near present-day Meeteetse, Wyo. and was a popular hauntamong gold miners, cowboys and outlaws alike. Bullet holes that can still be seen in the door are a testament to the rough times on the Wyoming frontier. It is the oldest remaining saloon in northwest Wyoming.


Historic Milestones

  • 90th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Established in 1933 during the Great Depression with the dual goals of helping unemployed young men and improving and protecting public lands, CCC enrollees had to be between 18 and 25 years old, unmarried, unemployed and with a family in need back home. In Wyoming, men improved infrastructure, built lodges and museums, protected wildlife and fought forest fires, including a deadly fire west of Cody in 1937 that killed nine men. CCC is credited with reviving and beautifying the region.
  • 115th anniversary of the Frost Cave/Shoshone Cave/Spirit Mountain Caverns. While exploring the east side of Cedar Mountain in 1908, Buffalo Bill Cody companion Ned Ward Frost discovered a deep, dark, massive cavern with hundreds of rooms and tunnels. Frost’s famous friend Buffalo Bill tapped his many important contacts in government, and just nine months later the cavern was designated a national monument. Initially called Frost Cave, the name was later changed to Shoshone Cavern National Monument because the government thought “Frost Cave” sounded too cold.  Managing the new federally protected cavern was extremely challenging because it was difficult to reach and operate. After many years, the federal government delisted the monument and returned it to the City of Cody. The city found management difficult too, and the cavern and site were returned to the U.S. government. It is administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management today. For more information, visit Shoshone Cavern, Wyoming’s Only Delisted National Monument |
  • 150th anniversary of the Jones Expedition of 1873. One year after the establishment of Yellowstone National Park, this crucial survey helped to discover a wagon route between the Union Pacific Railroad and Yellowstone National Park to accommodate travelers. Led by Captain William A. Jones, the route is north of the present-day Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway to the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park. With the increasing popularity of private automobiles, the route was considered for conversion into a road. But a pass to the south, Sylvan Pass, was ultimately chosen for that massive endeavor. For more information, visit Enchanted Enclosure: The Army Engineers and Yellowstone National Park (Chapter 4) (
  • 145th anniversary of the Battle of Bennett Buttes.  This pivotal but brief battle between the U.S. cavalry and a group of fleeing Bannock and Piute Indians occurred at an Indian encampment on an island along the Clarks Fork River near what is now the small community of Clark, Wyo., 30 miles north of Cody. The cavalry attacked the encampment in the early morning on Sept. 4, 1878. The battle resulted in the deaths of Captain Andrew Bennett along with two Crow Indian army scouts, a guide, and several Bannock Indians. The Indians were left where they fell. The term “Dead Indian” was later added to a pass – Dead Indian Pass – along with a creek, hill and mountain peak. The battle prompted Buffalo Bill Cody to remark, “Every Indian outbreak that I have ever known has resulted from broken promises and broken treaties by the government.” For more information, visit Clarks Fork Canyon – Geology of Wyoming (
  • 130th anniversary of the 1893 Jaggar Expedition of the Absarokas. Volcanologist Thomas Jaggar first surveyed Yellowstone National Park and the forestland east of the park in 1893, when he pinpointed some of the region’s most active hot spots. He concluded that the “Yellowstone hotspot” was one of the most active on Earth. Later in his career, Jaggar founded the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, where he studied the volcanic activities on the islands.
  • 105th anniversary of National Park Service management of Yellowstone.  The freshly minted National Park Service – a product of the Organic Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson – took over park operations from the U.S. Army in 1918.


Home of the Great American Adventure, Cody Yellowstone is comprised of the northwestern Wyoming towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as areas inside of Yellowstone National Park and the valley east of the entrance. The region is known for rodeos, authentic guest and dude ranches, world-class museums and recreational adventures that reflect the adventurous spirit of the visionaries and explorers who brought the remote region to the world’s attention.

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Mesereau Travel Public Relations
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Watch for Another Wild Year in Cody Yellowstone: Notable Milestones in 2023